First in Category-Young Adult Fantasy

First in Category-Young Adult Fantasy
Dante Rossetti Award

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Through a veil, darkly...

Attended my husband’s uncle’s funeral today; knew him only from the periodic family functions we’d attended over the years, liked him very much, yet realize I didn’t really know him well. The family had prepared a power point presentation; photos covering the years of his long life from marriage to his late old age. They were poignant snaps of his life; a bridegroom, a young father, at work as a logger in the haydays of big timber logging; photos of him building fences, in the garden, skiing and curling. Then the grandfatherly poses with shining-eyed infants and toddlers. You wonder all over again, how much do any of us know about the other. I kept staring into Uncle George’s eyes; what was he feeling, where was he in spirit as he experienced all this different moments. Impossible. We see only certain facets of anyone’s true being, and even that is filtered through our own veil.

After I got home, I sat in the yard for a while. Felt the sun and a light breeze on my skin; heard the crows quarreling in the fir tree. Sensations and sounds that late Uncle George would have heard, that people gone for millennia have heard and felt. And the awesomeness of that connection through the tunnel of time was immense.

How do you write a character’s story. We build a back-story, they say. Know where your character came from; what he/she felt about the events in their life before your recorded events take place. As authors, we can do this. Rather than being external observers, we can slip into their skin and feel the wind and sun on it and know if it evokes pleasure or distress dependent on the memories we have given them. The power to create a richly developed character is there for us as writers, and they will live.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Ok. The Writers Group are all running away to Mt. Washington on a retreat, and I couldn't go—family obligations came up. They're all going to get a lot of work done; raise their energy and run with it.

I'm trying to create an almost retreat-like atmosphere at home, but it's not quite the same. Tended to some gardening this morning; then came in and finished a Christmas story for an anthology our Writers Group are preparing. That's good, right? But then I got into reading Twitter buddies posts and following up on some good blogs. oops.

Now I'll go out and run some errands, plan on at least three good hours of writing this evening. How's that, guys?